THIS week in 1973 was fairly momentous for world news.

America announced a ceasefire in the Vietnam War and Lyndon Johnson, the former President who arguably did more than any other to mire his country in the bloody conflict, died aged 64.

The Adver covered both stories extensively, but didn’t skimp on local ones.

“Pig Peril Drama in Swindon,” was the headline over a story about worrying developments at the cattle market in Old Town.

The market stood in what is now the Dewell Mews area off Marlborough Road. As many readers will be aware, the history of the site is commemorated with a statue of Wiltshire Horn sheep which sometimes sports four brightly-coloured wellies.

The news 45 years ago in that final full week of January was grim: “Swindon cattle market was closed today as restrictions on livestock movement were clamped down within a five-mile radius of Haydon Wick.”

A possible outbreak of swine vesicular disease, a non-fatal but infectious condition with similar symptoms to deadly foot and mouth disease, meant a farm and the surrounding area had to be quarantined.

The farm in question has long since made way for the growth of North Swindon.

In the centre of Swindon, fixtures and fittings were being added to the Wiltshire Hotel.

An advert we ran, alerting readers to the opening on St Valentine’s Day, gives an idea of the sophisticated image the owners opted for.

A drawing of the futuristic – for 1973 – building showed it with expensive luxury cars outside, and prospective patrons were promised a restaurant and cocktail bar with “English & Continental cuisine” and a pub, The Springers, whose traditional atmosphere probably qualified it as an early theme bar.

Later in the decade, the hotel would be the setting for part of an episode of Target, a violent police drama starring Patrick Mower which was the BBC’s response to the popularity of ITV’s The Sweeney.

Rather more famously, the Wiltshire was the scene of a teenager’s real-life arrest for using a stolen credit card. The teenager in question, as revealed in his own autobiography and several interviews, was Stephen Fry.

In the years to come, the hotel had mixed fortunes and several names. Last autumn, having been unused for some time, it joined the Thistle Express stable.

In showbusiness news, we carried a photograph of a knife-wielding Diana Dors.

The image was taken on the set of her latest film, a horror thriller called Nothing But The Night, in which she shared billing with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and other current and future notables including Keith Barron, Michael Gambon and Fulton Mackay.

It is about a child – played by Gwyneth Strong, later to find fame as Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses – who seems to be at the heart of a series of sinister deaths, and Diana played her tormented mother.

Another story involving a celebrity came to us from Dorcan, where a Blue Peter crew was filming at the enormous new automated Woolworth distribution centre.

Presenting duties went to Peter Purves, and in our photograph he could just be seen pressing a button to activate some machinery.

The distribution centre remained open for another 35 years until the collapse of the store chain.

Another of our stories that week was about a Swindonian’s homecoming after the best part of 30 years.

We said: “It was a big step for war bride Kathleen Boutilier to move from Swindon to an island fishing village off the east coast of Canada.

“The nearest small town was eight miles away and the nearest city 30. There was no running water. It had to be drawn from a well.

“But she weathered the problems and, after 27 years, she is back here for the first time, on a six-week visit.

“Mrs Boutilier said: ‘Swindon will always be home to me.’ She is staying with her sister, Jean Wilson, at her home in Hazel Grove, Pinehurst.”

We added: “Since she first went, things have changed in her village. Cape Breton Island is now connected to the mainland by a causeway, and instead of a room at the home of her husband Howard’s parents they have a home standing in four and a half acres.”

Mrs Boutilier told us: “Our island is one of the most beautiful places I have seen.

“It is similar to Scotland. You can go almost from one end to the other by lakes, and from my house I can see the sea.”

According to Cape Breton’s online records, Kathleen Boutilier died in 2012, aged 91. She is buried on her island, little more than a stone’s throw from the ocean.